Is it Evidence or Proof?

The other day I received an email in which the author stated that “…there is no evidence for God, period…”

Obviously, the individual confuses evidence with proof. There are so many things people believe they exist without any mathematical proof to substantiate their existence. For example, people believe in the existence of black holes. These are said to be dense, powerful, and black regions in space from which nothing can escape-not even light. However, the truth is that no astronomer has ever actually seen a black hole. There is no direct image to show us how black holes look like. Belief in them is based on “strong evidence for them,” and their effect on gravity, according to Peter Edmonds, astrophysicist at NASA. The photos we are shown of black holes are mere illustrations.

Astronomers infer the existence of black holes by detecting their effect on matter near them. This is the evidence. So then if we are convinced that such things, which we have not seen exist, why would we not believe in the existence of God although we have not seen Him? The Cosmological argument, and the teleological argument from the design and regularity of nature point to the evidence of the existence of God. Then there are objective moral values or the universal moral instinct. All these infer the existence of a Transcendent Being we know as God. Why do we demand mathematical proof for the existence of God before we can believe He exists and yet we are so ready to believe what a handful of people tell us exists somewhere in space although no one has seen it?

Anyhow, at the end of the day, each one of us must wrestle with this issue and come to a decision in our heart because it will surface again at the end of our lives.

Scripture Resonates with Science

According to Dr. Hugh Ross, an astronomer who is also a pastor, astronomy is a scientific field of study that allows astronomers to experience the past. For example, he says, when we look at the sun we are not seeing it as it currently is, but we see it as it was 8 minutes ago because data takes some time to reach the telescope due to the velocity of light. Ross also insists that with regards to the origin of the universe, Scripture corroborates science. The Bible unequivocally states that the universe can be traced way back to a singularity beginning. This means that the universe had an ultimate beginning and so did matter, energy, space and time. Science teaches that the universe has been constantly expanding from its singularity beginning according to the laws of physics. This is nothing new to believers because the Bible also speaks about the expansion of the universe in Job 9:8; Isaiah 40: 22; Psalm 104:2; Jeremiah 51:15 and Zechariah 12:1. The universe is not only expanding, it is also under the pervasive law of decay. The book of Hebrews also speaks about decay in the universe as well (Hebrews 8). Science contends that any universe that expands certainly has a beginning, which means that a Causal Agent existing outside space, time, matter and energy, is responsible for the beginning of the universe. This Causal Agent is known as God by Christians, the One who initiated a spectacular miracle of the creation of the universe and all that is in it, ex nihilo. Scientists can no longer dismiss the role of the supernatural in the creation of the universe. Atheist, Lawrence Krauss in his book, A Universe From Nothing, concurs that one “cannot rule out such a deistic view of nature.” Genesis 1 states that the universe had a beginning and that God is responsible for all entire reality in our universe. In verse 2 of Genesis 1, the Bible tells us that the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters and that the water covered the surface of the earth. At this time our world was formless and void and was not fit for life as we know it. Then God began to work and things began to unfold in a spectacular and astonishing manner for the next 6 days. In the Genesis narrative, the evening and the morning bracket the six days of creation. But after that, there is no evening and morning mentioned. For six days, God creates. But on the seventh day, He stops. In the fossil record, there is amazing evidence of aggressive speciation preceding the appearance of human beings without evolutionary history. As soon as mankind appears, speciation ceases. The Bible says God rested on the seventh day following the creation of mankind. Since then, He has been sustaining the natural process He set in motion at creation.
On day one, according to Genesis 1, God created the light which obviously changed the atmosphere of the earth, somewhat. The foundation for the appearance of organic life was being laid. On day 2 God separated the waters and put a firmament in the midst of the waters. In chapters 37, 38, 39 and 40 the book of Job, the Bible describes the amazing creative genius of our God. Job even describes the water cycle as we experience it here on earth. He talks about liquid precipitation in the form of rain, dew and mist. Then he talks about the frozen precipitation such as snow, frost and hail. Only planet earth experiences water in these six forms, necessary for life forms on earth. On day 3, God gathered the water and transformed the world into continents and oceans. Myriad forms of vegetation flourished for the first time on these land masses. On day 4, God created the heavenly lights-the sun, moon and stars. These lights were created to mark seasons, days, and years for the sustenance of life on earth. Because the atmosphere became saturated with light, the animals could migrate, and reproduce, and feed, and hibernate during the right seasons. God prepared the ecological environment to support life on our planet. On day 5, sea populations appeared spontaneously, again without evolutionary history. Then the birds were created and so were mammals and reptilian species. On day 6, land mammals and creeping things made their appearance. Then God created the crowning work of His entire creation when He created human beings. These special creatures brought something unique and extraordinary. They are were created in the image of God, and endowed with a unique capacity to serve and glorify God. A careful study of Job 37 to 39, Genesis 1 and Proverbs 8, brings us to the conclusion that Bible narrative scores with the book of nature. It describes creation in chronological order. God prepared the terrestrial environment for life on earth. He carefully arranged the ecological system, which He continues to sustain today. Psalm 147 says God knows the name of every single star, which means that He also remembers the names of one of the 50 billion trillion balls of gases, we call stars. This means He knows you and I as well since, although the heavens declare the glory of God, they were not made in the image of God. Only you and I bear that Imago Dei.

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Mathematics-A Language the Universe Speaks Through

Scientists are renowned for relying on Mathematics in their work of trying to discover and explain the laws governing the operations of our universe and nature. They conduct experiments and draw quantifiable inferences about the regularity of nature. Disciplines such as neurobiology, astronomy, economics, Ecology, Engineering and physics etc. all largely utilize Mathematics. Galileo is reported to have said that “Nature’s great book is written in mathematical language.”

The universe is said to speak to us through the language of Mathematics. For instance, the paths of the planets of our solar system around the sun occur in a mathematical pattern. The speed of ships on the ocean is measured in mathematical terms. The distance from one planet to another can only be expressed mathematically. The same applies to the measurement of the speed of light. As such, physicists are starting to believe that Mathematics is beginning to “lead and direct research in physics.”

What is fascinating about Mathematics is that it is free from being influenced by people’s personal biases and prejudices. For example, a simple equation such as 5+3= 8 is a fact that cannot be modified or altered by anyone’s bias. Although the findings of our experiments may be explained in the English language, this is merely a translation of the mathematical findings of our experiments.

Sir James Jeans, a British astronomer and physicist, awed by mathematical explanations of nature, remarked that “God is a Mathematician.”

The Christian perspective claims that “Man has developed different ways to express on paper [the] consistency God has placed around us” in nature. From time immemorial human beings have used an array of symbols to represent quantities and other measurements. The Roman used what we know as Roman numeral such as VII, X, C, etc. and we have adopted the Arabic symbols to represent our quantities such as 3, 7, 11 etc. Amazingly, our mathematical equations remain consistent wherever they are calculated. For example, 1+3 will always be equals 4 whether calculated on the moon, on earth or deep under the sea in a submarine. No place in the universe can alter the answer to this equation. Because God consistently and faithfully holds nature and its laws together, their mathematical representations remain constant anywhere in the universe.

The Bible attests to the God’s covenant with the laws of nature: “This is what the LORD says: ‘If I have not made my covenant with day and night and established the laws of heaven and earth, then I will…” (Jeremiah 33: 25, 26, NIV). God arranged nature the way it is. Look, for instance, at the way flowers are arranged. They come season after season arranged in the same order, never deviating from it. The seeds of some flowers such as the sunflower follow a mathematical pattern which allows the flower to be able to hold together a certain number of seeds as its maximum load. Is this all happenstance?? When Jesus said “God clothes the grass of the field…” He alluded to this same principle (Matthew 6: 30).